So many adults fantasize about going to the UK on the basis of furthering their education so much that we hardly hear of children and young teenagers doing the same. However, does this mean that they are left out and there is absolutely no provision for them whatsoever? Probably not! The UK Child Student visa has got them covered.
As adults who wish to study in the UK, it’s basic knowledge to apply for a UK student visa with a validity that would cover the entire duration of your course and guarantee your stay in the UK as a student. For children and teenagers under the age of 18, it isn’t the same. This article provides you with all the needed information to study in the UK with a UK Child Student visa.
What is a UK Child Student Visa?
Just like any other educational visa, the UK Child Student Visa allows you to study in the UK as an “underage.”
What are the Age Requirements for a UK Child Student Visa Application?
You qualify to apply for a Child Student visa ONLY if you’re between the ages of 4 and 17 years old. Also, this category of visa is only open to students who have no problem with studying at an independent school. Therefore, be sure you are ready to comply with the rules of studying at an independent school before going through with your application.
What are the Conditions for Applying for a UK Child Student Visa?
Applying for a UK Child Student visa means you must:
-have been provided with an unconditional offer of a place on a course at an independent school. To prove this, you will need a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) provided by your education provider.
-be able to show that you are financially stable to support your stay in the UK as a student on this category of visa.
-have proof of the consent of your parents or guardians to study in the UK.
-be between 4 and 17 years of age. For students who are 18 years and above, apply for a UK Student visa instead.
What is a CAS?
A CAS, as it is popularly called, is an abbreviation for the term, Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies. This is a reference number sent to you by your education provider upon offering you a place on the course. The reference number is to be entered on your visa application form to prove your admission to the school. Also, you must apply for the visa within 6 months of receiving your CAS reference number.
When can I Apply for the UK Child Student Visa?
Before applying, you need to put into consideration your location and the stipulated time your course is meant to start.
If you are applying from outside the UK, you should apply for a visa 6 months before you start your course at the earliest. Feedback is usually sent within 3 weeks after application.
If you are applying from within the UK, you should apply for a visa 3 months before you start your course at the earliest. Feedback is often sent within 8 weeks after application.
Please note that the application must be done before the expiration of your current visa, and your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring.
How Long Can I Stay in the UK with a Child Student Visa?
Your duration of stay in the UK on a Child Student visa depends on your age on the date you apply, as well as the length of your course.
- Under 16—a 6-year course length plus 4 months afterwards.
- 16 or 17—a 3-year course length plus 4 months afterwards.
Note: You can travel to the UK 1 month prior to the start of your course, but no earlier than the start date given on your visa.
If you wish to stay longer in the UK, you should consider:
- extending your visa (provided if you are eligible);
- switching to a UK Child Student visa from another visa if you’re already in the UK.
How Much Does it Cost to Apply for a UK Child Student Visa?
The application depends on your location.
- If you are applying from outside the UK, it costs £363 to obtain a UK Child Student visa.
- If you are already in the UK and wish to extend your stay or switch to the UK Child Student visa, it costs £490.
- You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application, and the amount needed for this depends on the validity of your visa.
What are the Pros and Cons of the UK Child Student Visa?
If you are on a Child Student visa in the UK, you can:
- Study at an independent school.
- Work part-time during the term for up to 10 hours per week or full-time during vacations, provided you are 16 or above:
- be on a work placement as part of your course (but not for more than 50% of your course)
- Further your education or study at an academy or a local authority-funded school
- Solicit for public funds or educational grants (benefits)
- Start a business or take up a full-time permanent job.
- Work as an entertainer or take up a job as a professional sportsperson, for instance, a sports coach.
- Apply for settlement
- have your family members or dependants over. As such, if a parent has to accompany you, they will need to apply for a Parent of a Child Student visa
How Much is Needed to Study with a UK Child Student Visa?
To study in the UK on this category of visa, it is mandatory to have enough money to pay for your course for one academic year (about 9 months) and support you in the UK. However, the amount of money needed depends on where you will live and who will be looking after you.
If you have the intention of living with your parent or guardian:
- Your parent must obtain a Parent of a Child Student visa to accompany you to the UK. However, If you are over 12 your parent/guardian will not be eligible for the visa unless with the exception that you have a younger sibling who’s under 12 and also has a Child Student visa.
- You will need a total of £1,560 per month (for up to 9 months) (for both you and your parent/guardian).
- Your parent/guardian will need an extra amount of £625 per month (for up to 9 months) for each additional child accompanying them to the UK. He/she must be your sibling and possess his/her own Child Student Visa.
If you will be boarding at an independent school:
- You must have enough money to pay for your course fees and your boarding fees for a whole academic year (up to 9 months).
If you intend to live with a foster carer or close relative:
- You must be financially stable to pay for your course fees for one academic year (up to 9 months).
- Your foster carer or close relative must be able to prove that they have at least £570 per month (for up to 9 months).
- Your foster carer or close relative must be a Briton or be settled in the UK, that is, have rights to permanent residency. However, they cannot be your parents.
If you’re 16 or above and would be living independently:
- You must have enough money to pay for your course fees for a whole academic year (up to 9 months).
- You must also prove that you have a total of £1,334 per month (for up to 9 months) if you’re studying in London or
- a total of £1,023 per month (for up to 9 months) if you’re studying outside of London.
You must be able to prove that you (or your parent/guardian) have the money for at least 28 consecutive days. This must be within 31 days of the date you apply for your visa.
What are the Documents Needed to Apply for a UK Child Student Visa?
Before you make the move to apply for a UK Child Student Visa, ensure that you have the following documents handy:
- A valid passport or other valid travel documents.
- A Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from your course provider.
- Written consent form issued by your parent or legal guardian for your study in the UK.
- Proof that you have enough money to support yourself and pay for your studies throughout the entire duration of your course and pay for your course.
- Proof of your relationship to your parent or guardian showing their names, for example, a birth certificate or other government-issued document.
- Proof of the qualifications used to get a place on your course. This may or may not be required by your education provider.
- Your tuberculosis (TB) test results
- written consent for your application from your financial sponsor if you’ve received sponsorship to pay for your course as well as living expenses in the last 12 months
- An extra (blank) page in your passport for your visa should the need to give your biometric information arise (fingerprints and a photograph) at a visa application centre.
See also: The UK Student Visa